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Sunday, September 19, 2010

ESU 4 Special Education - September 20, 2010

Monday Memo
September 20, 2010

"Smart is when you believe only half of what you hear. Brilliant is when you know which half to believe." ~ Orben's Current Comedy

The AdvancED Visit is On... We are pleased to be hosting a visit from the AdvancED (QAR) external team. We are beginning to get a picture of what the days will be looking like. The QAR team will most likely be split into smaller teams as they try to cover as much ground in ESU 4 as possible. Here's a general idea of what their agenda looks like:
     Sunday, September 19 - QAR team gathers at the ESU 4 Learning Center for Orientation (4:00 p.m.) and meets with the ESU 4 Leadership Team (6:00 p.m.)
     Monday, September 20 - QAR team interviews ESU 4 Leadership team and visits Falls City/Auburn; QAR team meets with the ESU 4 Board of Education and reviews artifacts
     Tuesday, September 21 - QAR teams visit NCECBVI, Nebraska City, Johnson Brock, HTRS, ESU 4 Learning Center; A QAR team will interview ESU 4 staff at the Learning Center, beginning approximately 2:30 p.m.
     Wednesday, September 22 - QAR teams make any follow up visits as deemed necessary; exit interviews with Leadership Team @ 2:30 at NCEC. Oral Exit report at NCECBVI, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

We are looking forward to concluding this step as we proceed to our goal for national accreditation. The QAR team will present at least 1 recommendations to ESU 4; we look forward to using that as we continue to Move "4"ward. If you have any questions about the AdvancED/QAR visit, please don't hesitate to let me know. I can email a more indepth schedule to you if you so desire; just let me know.

A Note from Catrina about Your Health... Recently we had a little excitement involving pertussis or whooping cough.  Without going into a lot of details that most don't need to know, everyone who works with children should check to make sure their Tetanus shot is current (within the last 10 years) and that it contained pertussis in the vaccine.  The recommendation from the health department based upon CDC recommendations is that everyone who works or is around children should check with their doctor about their vaccination status at their next appointment.  There is no need to rush in right away, a good opportunity might be when you go in for your flu shot or at your next annual physical to ask if you have had a dTap (Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis)vaccine within the last 10 years.  If not it is recommended that everyone receive a dTap vaccine because typically adults are the carriers of pertussis (whooping cough) and could be putting young children or medically fragile children at risk of serious medical complications or could even be fatal for some young children.

Self Evaluations/Goals-action plans/Individual Development Plans... I am missing 4 of the self-evaluations/individual development plans. (You know who you are!) If I don't receive these by the end of this week, I will be naming names! I did note that the additional copies I thought I needed to get to you are actually found behind the "Evaluation Rubrics" tab. You will just need to match things up with your rubric. I will be posting many of these documents on Google Docs so I will be working with everyone to get a google-docs account. (THANKS to those of you who have sent your self evals and plans in. I've enjoyed reading them and am able to make better decisions about your Staff Development requests.)

Requests for Professional Development/Workshops... I am getting some requests for people wanting to attend workshops or staff development. As I mentioned at our meeting at NCEC, your requests need to match up with your Individual Development Plan (IDP). So, until I get your IDP, I am unable to okay requests. I would also recommend that you send in a leave request WITH your original request to attend the training; sometimes we get your registration information but I really need that leave sheet. (This might help us in being more accurate and timely with leave forms as well.  Also, be wise in making your requests as I am being asked to pay close attention to the costs associated with professional development among ESU 4 staff. If I can use grant funds, I will and your requests will most likely be approved. If I cannot use grant funds, it might be iffy!

According to the New York Times, there is no scientific research that proves that life is serious.
So... Lighten up!!!

Frog Update... From "Eat That Frog"... if you eat a frog first thing every day, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day. I'll be posting more as time goes on... but until then, don't be scared to 'eat that frog.'

Make a list (on a daily or weekly basis.) Circle your Frog. Tell someone...

ESU 4 Special Education Mission Statement and Belief Statements
ESU 4 Special Education:
Learning today for success tomorrow through a commitment to communication, accountability, and leadership.
Belief Statements:
A good education fosters the individual needs of each student.
All children have unique strengths and needs, and deserve an individualized, collaborative, quality education.
Every individual is worthy.
Individuals rise to meet expectations.

Program Supervision Mission Statement  (Special Education Director):
Supporting children, their families and the districts of ESU 4 through a commitment to communication, accountability and leadership.
Belief Statements:
We should provide districts with up-to-date information concerning IDEA, Rule 51, and other compliance and regulatory initiatives.
We assist in fostering positive relationships between districts and their families in supporting students.
We provide technical assistance to districts in support of student learning.
It is what it is.

ESU 4 Team 2010-2011 goals... COMMUNICATION: The ESU 4 Team will foster reciprocal communication by using multiple modes (e.g. newsletter, e-mail, personal contacts, on-site visits, web pages, pod-casting) to deepen stakeholder understanding of the ESU 4 mission to improve student learning. ACCOUNTABILITY: The ESU 4 team will utilize the recommendations that result from the AdvancED accreditation process, as well as share the implementation plan for addressing recommendations with stakeholder groups. The ESU 4 team will utilize fiscal resources to maintain current services/staffing and for training needs of ESU #4 team members. LEADERSHIP: The ESU 4 team will develop and implement a comprehensive ESU 4 plan for meeting the needs of all districts that maintains and/or increases stakeholder involvement. The ESU #4 Team will provide vision for the organization and its schools, as well as focus on continuous improvement of individual team members and the organization as a whole.

My Goals for 2010-2011...
     1) Complete training and broadcast webinars for special education teachers and administrators on special education issues.
     2) Increase efforts to promote ESU 4's mission within correspondence and via newspapers, newsletter, presentations and radio.
     1) Develop a profile (or final report) that includes data from the ESU 4 Special Education staff sharing information about their services, staff development opportunities, evaluations, student achievement, program goals, outcomes data, etc.
     2) Implement a staff evaluation/development system that is research/evidence-based, includes the self assessment of professional skills, provides specific feedback to staff, and creates a foundation for each staff member's individual development/training plan. (QOE/PLN project.)
     1) Create a new staff/teacher orientation handbook, explaining the scope of services and mission of ESU 4/NCECBVI.
     2) Develop a profile (or final report) that includes data from the ESU 4 Special Education staff sharing information about their services, staff development opportunities, evaluations, student achievement, program goals, outcomes data, etc.


I'd still like to share your 'and then some' stories through the Monday Memo. I would also like you to look for examples of people sharing their 'Frogginess' which means that they are looking and moving forward to support ESU 4 and it's districts.

How to smile...

Show others you care by giving attention to their needs.
The opportunity to serve is a gift… not an entitlement.
We’re at each other’s service and contact is where it starts.
We’ve got work to do.
It’s where pleasantness begins.

"Failure is in the EYES of the Beholder":
  • Beethoven's music teacher once said of him, "As a composer, he is hopeless."
  • Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
  • A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he 'lacked imagination and had no good ideas.'
  • Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and had to repeat it because he did not complete the tests that were required for promotion.
  • Babe Ruth struck out 1,380 times... a major league record.
GO Huskers!!!
Isn't it a great day to be a Husker fan????
The correct answer is... ALWAYS!!!

Did you see that Washington Football Game or the Colorado Volleyball Game? 'Nuff Said!

Never stop playing the game!

Educational Service Unit #4, Auburn, Nebraska

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